The early years of children are critical and important for their optimal health and development. The brain grows at astonishing rates in a child and parents are often advised to make those years count. Let us look at some of the foods that helps nourish a child’s brain, boost it and improve its memory &cognitive skills.
The yolk of an egg contains lecithin and iron which is thought to improve memory and increase the brain function. In addition to this, Eggs are not only rich in protein but also a very good source of zinc, vitamin A, Vitamin D, E and B12. These vitamins are good for vision (vit A), stronger bones (Vit D), formation of red blood cells (B12) and in preventing diseases (vit E).
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. They work by enhancing the mood and keeping a check on the central nervous system. Peanuts and peanut butter are great source of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. If a child is allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, they can be fed seeds like sunflower seeds instead. If a child refuses to eat them as is, it can be incorporated into sauces or spreads.
Kiwi fruit contains as much as twice the amount of vitamin C as compared to an orange. Vitamin C helps in absorption of iron and nourishes the brain by improving blood supply. Since our bodies cannot store Vitamin C it is important to include it in a child’s daily diet.
Bananas are high energy boosters and helps in sustaining concentration levels. Bananas are great alternatives to traditional snacks like biscuits or crackers and are readily available throughout the year.
5. Greek Yogurt
As compared to plain yoghurt, Greek yoghurt is filled with good fat & proteins and it boosts the brain with energy by increasing the transmitting function of brain cells. Alternative to yoghurt is milk and cheese.
Most part of the Brain (almost 60%) is composed of fatty acids that play a vital role in brain cell function. And since our bodies do not produce all of the essential fatty acids it becomes vital to obtain it from food. Fish especially salmon are rich in omega 3’s (fatty acids) which is important for brain growth and function. Research finds that children who are on high omega 3 diets have sharper skills and do better on mental tests. Other fishes that contain essential fatty acids are sardines & kippers.
Making children eat green leafy vegetables can be a task on its own. But a cup of spinach is highly rich in vitamins & minerals and provides enormous benefits to the brain. Best way to feed them to the child is by sneaking it into other foods like sauces, curries and even in brownies.
A child’s developing years are special and important. Make them count. Happy parenting!